• Jeffrey Ram

NATO MEMBER TURKEY PERSECUTES CHRISTIANS

REFORMADVOCATE.COM NEWS/VIEWS

Toronto, Canada Jeffrey S. Ram, Editor November 15, 2022

Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a collective security military alliance of twenty-eight European and two North American nations. Turkey persecutes Christians in Turkey and uses its NATO military power and resources to help other Islamic countries to attack and destroy Christians. Turkey has regional and global aspirations. It wants to revive the Ottoman Empire.

The global Christian community should recognize Turkey as an enemy of Christians and stop Turkey’s anti-Christian actions. It should also enable Armenia, Ethiopia’s Tigray Region, and other targets of Turkey to become militarily powerful. The Turkish Christian minorities should strengthen themselves economically and socially or move out of Turkey. Western and other wealthy countries need skilled and qualified people for their workforce.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN TURKEY

Hagia Sophia, an ancient Christian cathedral, was changed into a museum from a mosque in 1934. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan changed it back to a mosque in July 2020.

Image: Hagia Sophia, Istanbul. Courtesy: Wikimedia

In 1971, the Turkish government closed the Theological School of Halki, a seminary of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Eastern Orthodox Church, after being in existence for 127 years. Those who wish to be Orthodox clergy or pastor of any other church must go abroad for training. Turkey continues to expel and bar foreign Christian missionaries and pastors.

Religion classes for two hours per week are compulsory for all students in grades four to12. Only Christian or Jewish students are permitted to apply for the exemption. The teachings, biased against other religions, include the statement, “The only religion accepted by God is Islam.”

Registration with the government is not necessary for religious groups to operate. Still, it is required for legal recognition of places of worship.

The Turkish government refuses to recognize Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I as the leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians.

The Orthodox Church has been in Turkey for more than 1,690 years. The Greek Orthodox community in Turkey has shrunk from nearly 2 million at the beginning of the 20th century to about 5,000 today.

TURKEY'S PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA

In Iraq and Syria, Turkey aided Islamic State in plundering Christians, slaughtering males, and making females their sex slaves. Turkey helped ISIL/ISIS by providing soldiers, weapons, ammunition, explosives, training, medical treatment, brokerage of stolen Syrian oil, and passage of jihadist ISIS terrorists Into Syria. Turkey also enabled ISIS to become a functioning state quickly.

Turkey provided logistical and intelligence support to the Army of Conquest, a coalition of the al-Nusra Front (the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda) and Ahrar al-Sham. It also passed money and weapons given to the terrorist groups by Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

ISIS used Turkey to traffic Afghanistan's heroin to Europe. Truck tankers transported oil to Turkey from Syria.

Christians formed 10 percent of Syria's population when the war began in 2011. Now they are about 5 percent.

Recently, the Most Rev. Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, spoke at the G20 Religion Forum in Bali, Indonesia. He regretted that after living in the region for around 1,900 years, "we Christians of Iraq now find ourselves on the very edge of extinction."

TURKEY'S PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN THE AZERBAIJAN- ARMENIA CONFLICT

Turkey provided its military personnel, Syrian jihadi mercenaries, and NATO firepower to Azerbaijan to crush Armenian Christian forces. Turkish TB2 Bayraktar drones were a game-changer in this war because Armenia relied on trenches and conventional means of defense.

Armenians in Artsakh were targets of a genocidal assault by Azerbaijan and Turkey during the 2020 war against Artsakh that lasted for 44 days, from September 27 to November 10. The combined forces of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Syrian jihadists murdered civilian Christians and destroyed churches.

The Canadian government suspended the export of sophisticated Canadian drone technology to Turkey when Canada's Armenian community and the disarmament group Ploughshares International urged it to stop the export. The Azerbaijani military used Canadian drone optics and laser targeting systems against Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.

On October 6, 2020, Erdogan exclaimed, "We support Azerbaijan until victory. I tell my Azerbaijani brothers: May your ghazwa be blessed." Ghazwa refers to battles of the early years of Islam. It means the war was fought for the propagation and expansion of Islam.

After the war, Turkish and Azerbaijani soldiers participated in a military "victory parade" in Azerbaijan's capital city of Baku on December 10, 2020. It was attended by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.

On this occasion, Erdogan praised Enver Pasha and Nuri Pasha. They created and led the 1918 Army of the Caucasus, which targeted Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks. The Ottoman military march was also played on this occasion.

Western powers' silence allowed Azerbaijan and Turkey to commit atrocities with impunity.

TURKEY'S PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN ETHIOPIA'S TIGRAY REGION

Turkey helped the Ethiopian government with NATO military arms and technology, troops, and Syrian jihadist mercenaries in its war against the Tigray region's Christian forces. China and Iran, who are hostile to Christians, also helped the Ethiopian government. Eritrea assisted the Ethiopian army with approximately 100,000 troops and 10 mechanized divisions.

The Ethiopian, Somalian, Eritrean, and Turkish soldiers and Syrian jihadists destroyed churches and ancient Christian shrines. They raped and slaughtered Tigray's Christians.

Thousands of civilians were killed in this conflict. About 400,000 are facing famine in Tigray, and 9.4 million people require food aid in northern Ethiopia. Hospitals are short of medicines. Electricity, phone, banking services, and the internet have been cut for two years.

On October 7, 2022, Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin of Adigrat appealed to the national and international communities "to be a voice of the voiceless and enforce international treaties to save more than 7 million lives from vanishing."

HOW LONG WILL THE CHRISTIANS ACROSS THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY IN THE WESTERN COUNTRIES, REMAIN INDIFFERENT TO TURKEY’S PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS?

Christians worldwide should back their prayers with actions to reduce the suffering of Christians victimized by Turkey. They should support and strengthen the Christian minorities to enable them to shield themselves. Christians should hold the Turkish government to account and end the impunity of its evil actions by imposing sanctions and trade boycotts. Christian minorities should empower themselves and bravely endure Turkey’s oppression or follow Lord Jesus Christ’s advice, “When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.” (Matthew 10:23)

INFORM EVERYONE WESTERN COUNTRIES NEED IMMIGRANTS.

Related:

https://www.reformadvocate.com/post/christian-action-committee-needed-in-every-church

https://www.reformadvocate.com/post/christian-minorities-need-self-empowerment-and-self-reliance-for-security

https://www.reformadvocate.com/post/the-international-religious-freedom-government-groups-need-to-be-more-effective

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